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More Tax On Impoverished Civil Servants

Government will with effect from March establish the Government Employees Mutual Savings Fund (GEMS) which will see Government deducting 2,5% of total remuneration being deducted from every Government employee.

Speaking during a post Cabinet press briefing Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa said the deductions will be done in consultation with the Public Service Commission.

“Following presentation by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development of the proposed Civil Service Mutual Savings Fund, Cabinet resolved as follows: that the Government Employees Mutual Savings Fund (GEMS Fund) be established with effect from March, 2020” said Mutsvangwa

She said Government will inject a sum of ZW$100 million for the establishment of the fund.

“Government will immediately provide a lump sum injection of ZW$100 million from the budget to facilitate the expedited establishment of the Fund. A 2½% of the total remuneration be deducted from every Government employee in consultation with the Public Service Commission” she said

She highlighted that a Steering Committee comprising the Public Service Commission, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development; and the Office of the President and Cabinet shall be established to decide on the implementation modalities of the Fund.

Mutsvangwa also indicated that members of the uniformed force will have an additional benefit of accessing subsidised basic commodities.

“Garrison Shops be established to enable all members of the defence forces who will be on the GEMS Fund to have the additional benefit of accessing subsidized basic commodities that would be sold in the specialized shops located within cantonment areas”

Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said the GEMS Fund will cushion civil servants from loan sharks who are charging exorbitant interest.

“What we have found is that the civil servants tend to borrow out there some of them are actually in serious debt, with loan sharks charging very high interest rates and our view is lets provide our civil servants an alternative where they can borrow cheap and support their day to day activities” said Ncube

Ncube said uniformed forces will be issued with cards that they will use to purchase the subsidised goods on a monthly basis.

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